Moorthy Muthuswamy on “Religious Apartheid in Modern India”

Dr. Moorthy Muthuswamy is an unlikely author of a book titled “Defeating Political Islam” since he is a nuclear and radiation physicist. But there you have it. That book has received glowing reviews from some of the most serious scholars and activists engaged in studying the impact of political Islam and Islamic terrorism on the world, including Robert Spencer.[1] We have to take what Dr. Muthuswamy writes very seriously. We may have a vague sense that all is not well in India when it comes to state-sanctioned religious discrimination against Hindus. But to truly understand the scope and intensity of that, I had to read his article on “Religious Apartheid in Modern India: Transforming of a Civilization.”

Did you know St. Stephen’s College in New Delhi is setting up a quota system that allots 50 percent of its student enrolment for the Christians? Did you also know that “About 95 percent of the college’s expenses are paid by the taxpayers, with the majority community [i.e., Hindus] contributing most of it”? Did you know that Article 30 of the Indian Constitution permits such discrimination and the government forces non-Christians to pay for a Christian institution which discriminated against non-Christians?

Non-Christians paying for the benefits of Christians. Does this amount to the state providing a financial incentive for non-Christians to convert to Christianity?

Moorthy writes:

If the percentage of missionary-controlled educational institutions is proportional to the Christian minority population percentage, these discriminations, while hardly justifiable for a nation that calls itself “secular,” are unlikely to have an adverse impact. However, here’s the gist of the problem: the 2.3 percent (2001 census figures) Christian minorities control over 22 percent (almost ten times their population percentage) of all educational institutions in India (i.e., over 40,000 of them).

In combination with Article 30, the above statistics state the obvious: The Christians are a privileged minority in India, with the government’s resources — inadvertently, it seems — allocated for their preferred empowerment. Not surprisingly, literacy rate of the Christians in India stands at 80 percent, compared to 65 percent overall. With the missionaries providing nearly 30 percent of the healthcare services in India, employment possibilities for those who convert to Christianity are significantly more than those of non-Christians. In addition, the minority status of missionary-controlled institutions helps them get tax, land allotment and many other benefits.

Does it matter that non-Christians are systematically discriminated against in India? Here’s Moorthy:

The magnitude and scale of these discriminations are staggering. If each missionary-controlled institution has on the average a total of 300 students and staff, and if it discriminates on the average against 10 non-Christian student enrolments and youth employments every year, it translates to about a quarter million discriminatory acts every year. For instance, St. Stephen’s, which has an incoming class of about 400 students every year, allots nearly 200 of these seats exclusively for Christians — i.e., nearly 200 acts of discrimination every year [in just one college alone].

There is a word for this kind of thing. Apartheid.

It is pertinent to contrast here the scheme implemented in South Africa by the ruling white minority during the apartheid era. The black majority was deliberately denied education and employment opportunities through a racial system designed to favour the whites. This, in a nutshell denied the black majority empowerment in their land. Of course, in the case of South Africa, the white ruling class’s apartheid practices were deliberate and by design, in order to keep the black majority away from power. However, in the case of India, the egregious religious discriminations are an unintended consequence of Article 30 of the Indian constitution. Or so it seems.

World over, people began to raise their voices against the cruelty and immorality of the apartheid practices in South Africa. But in India, the larger-than-life implications of similar practices have yet to be realised — and, let alone be addressed. Indeed, best-selling author Ramachandra Guha himself an alumni of St. Stephen’s gets it only half right when he calls the reservation policies of his former college, “unethical.”

The discriminatory policies induced by Article 30 of the Indian constitution, arguably, violate Articles 23 and 26 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UN Charter) to which India is a signatory. Specifically, “the right to work, to free choice of employment,” mentioned in Article 23 and, “higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit,” mentioned in Article 26 appear to be violated. Therefore, Article 30-induced discriminations constitute human rights violations as well.

How is it that in Hindu majority India, Hindus are discriminated against like this?

The Hindu majority has become under-privileged in part due to centuries of alien rule in which they were shut out of power and were discriminated against. It is indeed true that at the present time the Muslim minorities are relatively under-privileged compared to the Hindu majority. Even still, one has to wonder how much of that is self-inflicted, considering the well-established reluctance of the Muslim community in India to embrace modern education by choosing madarasa (Muslim religious school) education. The regressive evolution of the Muslim majority Pakistan, despite sharing much with India also substantiates the role of self-infliction.

Moorthy presents chilling evidence of discrimination and its effect.

Article 30-Induced Deprivations

Post 1990s, the religious apartheid practices permitted by Article 30 of India’s constitution have played a primary role in devastating the majority community economically in the southern Indian state of Kerala by marginalising their educational opportunities. The article has given minority-controlled institutions in Kerala legal power to discriminate and to regulate educational access at the expense of the taxpayers. According to Indian academic C. Issac:

“[The] 55 per cent of Hindu population of Kerala controls 11.11 per cent of the state’s bank deposits. On the other hand, the 19 per cent Christian community commands 33.33 per cent and 25 per cent Muslim population retains 55.55 per cent…. The education is one of the major sectors where the organised strength of the minorities in Kerala is used in a covert manner. In this sector the majority [Hindu] community as well as the government together control only 11.11 percent, on the other hand, the church controls 55.55 percent and Muslim religious organisations 33.33 percent of all institutions. At present the professional education sector of Kerala is almost under the full control of the minorities. About 12,000 engineering enrolments and 300 medicine enrolments are in the minority institutions and they are fully controlling the admissions. At present 60 percent of the enrolments in paramedical courses are controlled by the organised minority religious leadership…. In this situation the successive governments are functioning as mere onlookers…. A lion’s share of these aided [government-funded] schools is under minority management.”

Can a parent belonging to the majority community expect his/her sons and daughters, even if they are well-qualified, to receive college education in Kerala? Difficult as it is to get admission in a college, it is unlikely to be lost on many Hindus that they stand a much higher chance, should they convert to one of the privileged minority faiths.

A resident of Kanyakumari — a southern district in the state of Tamilnadu that has newly become Christian majority — has commented below on the infringing of the rights of the Hindu community. Here again, the issue of concern is enhanced government-sponsored empowerment opportunities available for those who belong to minority religions through Article 30, and their denials to the majority community:

“There are so many scholarship programmes for minorities and backward classes, but there is no such scholarship for Hindu students. The poor are not able to afford children’s education. We will have to vote for Radhakrishnan [a Hindu legislator contestant] to get our rights back.”

Not surprisingly, in many parts of India, there have been anecdotal instances of entire families converting to Christianity in order for their children to receive education and scholarships. This is creating destabilising social tensions, with the ill-informed majority community unable to enact measures to modify the existing minority-favouring system of quotas, and instead, directing anger unfairly at the minority Christians.

In other words, Hindus are forced to pay (through taxes to their government) for their own religious conversion. As a Hindu, I find this unacceptable.

Evidence-based reasoning suggests that India is undergoing a civilisational transformation – a process of de-hinduising, powered by Article 30-induced egregious deprivations. This shows that the majority community in India has not yet matured enough to protect its core interests from being unfairly trampled. While the minorities’ politisation of their religious institutions have helped them mobilize their community to vote and to leverage the voting power to advance their interests,[51] the lack of politisation of the majority community’s religious institutions has not helped. These contrasting roles played by the religious institutions of the minority and majority communities can be traced to centuries of rule by alien powers. In order to mitigate potential challenges to their hold on power, the alien entities ensured de-politising of the majority community’s religious institutions.

It’s a long article — and rightly so since it touches on a important matter which cannot be discussed meaningfully in sound-bite sized pieces. Here is a bit more from it.

Among the capable segments of India’s population, the middle class, upper middle class, and even the rich members of the majority community have remained apolitical — by largely shying away from voting — due to their disappointment with the political process in the nation.[52] They could afford to, as the booming economy of the past two decades has created educational and job opportunities for them. . .

It has become quite clear that the apolitical, and yet the capable segments of the majority community now have to involve themselves in the political process, in order to ensure a future for themselves and their progenies. . .

Clearly, modern and “emergent” India has to do away with Article 30 in the present form. The question remains what should replace it. A window into answering this question comes from the United States of America, arguable among the most developed secular democracies and home to a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society. Discriminations faced by the black minorities and to a lesser extent by non-Christian and non-white immigrants from abroad (in employment, educational, social and professional settings), compelled the United States to enact the cornerstone anti-discrimination legislation: The Civil Rights Act of 1964. . .

This article shouldn’t be viewed as an attack on Christian minorities or a call for undermining their rights, or an effort to stop conversions altogether. The focus of this analysis is about the egregious human rights violations of the 80 percent majority community. By tracing these violations to Article 30 of the Indian constitution, this piece offers ways of addressing this issue objectively and fairly without infringing on anyone’s rights. As a modern and free nation, India ought to uphold the right of its people to practice and importantly, change a faith as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, . . .

One could justifiably argue that India doesn’t deserve to be called a modern democracy unless it takes steps to stop the constitution-based egregious discriminatory practices and unfair denial of empowerment of one eighth of entire humanity. . .

If biodiversity is viewed crucial for the well-being of humanity, so should cultural-religious diversity. For instance, India’s western neighbour Pakistan’s relentless drive to eradicate cultural-religious diversity within may have left it highly vulnerable to dead-end ideologies. It is incumbent on humanity to ensure that ancient ways of life are allowed to evolve, and not be extinguished by apartheid practices.

Go read it all. It deserves to be widely appreciated. (There’s a slightly shorter version of the article at the South Asia Analysis Group site.)

NOTES:

[1] I have not read Dr Muthuswamy’s “Defeating Political Islam” yet. It is on my reading list though. I am a very slow reader, unfortunately. Last year, I had mentioned the book in a blog post in May 2009. After that, I had the privilege of speaking to Dr Muthuswamy over the phone.

37 thoughts on “Moorthy Muthuswamy on “Religious Apartheid in Modern India”

  1. Moorthy had too many sour grapes to eat. And his research is incomplete. Which Hindu is he speaking for? The upper caste Hindu?

    He conveniently glosses over 15% reservation to SCs in govt. funded funded institutions. Delhi University alone admits 49000 UG students in a year.Mumbai & Pune universities have an intake of 41000 annually.

    Not sure of the exact percentage of SC Hindus, but it’s very much above 50%. That would bring the reserved seats “for Hindus” to well over 6000 in just 3 universities.

    India has about 20 central universities and 215 state ones. Do the math and arrive at a large number. Put that in perspective with 200 reserved seats at St Stephen’s.

    Moorthy’s barking up the wrong tree.

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  2. Dear Atanu,
    What is the solution to this conversion and our obnoxious constitution favoritisms? How can we put a workable solution in practice.
    We all seem to agree with the points you are making but what does agreeing accomplish?
    Regards,
    Srinivas

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  3. This is Moorthy Muthuswamy.

    Let me first of all thank Dr. Atanu Dey for taking the time to address this egregious human rights issue.

    We should be thankful for the invaluable and insightful column of his.

    It must be realised that Article 30 of the Indian constitutions mentions minorities reserving UP TO 50 percent in their institutions. That, in NO way, justifies the missionaries reserving enrolments in their (government-funded) institutions far excess of their population percentage.

    From the point of view of countering these discriminations, i.e., denial of education and employment opportunities for millions of innocent Hindu children and youths, the following is a logical direction to proceed:

    1) Find out in your city the extent of quota system in Christian missionary-controlled colleges and schools
    2) Spread the word – talk to your colleagues, friends and relatives about these “injustices.”
    3) Setup protests in front of these institutions against their discriminations (using banners etc)
    4) This will lead to wide media coverage (TV, newspaper etc)

    This is such a black-and-white issue, and one dear to the majority community’s heart that a mass movement can be built very quickly to bring a government in power in order to address the massive deprivations created by Article 30 of the Indian constitution, and other nationalist agendas (including, putting an end to jihadist terrorism).

    You may find my book “Defeating Political Islam,” very useful reference and a fascinating read. The book is available in India – visit my website (http://www.moorthymuthuswamy.com/) for details.

    Regardless of how well many middle class, upper middle class and even rich Hindus are doing now, like in Kerala, Kashmir and elsewhere, your future is being taken away, slowly, but surely, due to a minority favouring, absurd and outdated provisions of Indian constitution.

    This must be changed ASAP.

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  4. Atanu
    I completed my schooling (97) in Kerala in a Jesuit Fathers run institution. As far my knowledge goes, there were no reservations for Christian Community and even if there was , the class rooms of my time bore pretty much the ratio of 55:25:20 hindu:muslim:Christians.

    Dont remember any instance of scholarships etc doled out to Christian students.

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  5. This is a reply to Mahesh s:

    As I noted, in places such as Kerala (all Hindu castes), Kanyakumari district (mostly upper caste) and Kandhamal in Orissa (lower caste) have been affected, because the minorities have setup disproportional number of education institutions and these are covered by Article 30.

    It appears that you have skipped the following section in my article that talks about reservation benefits for lower caste Hindus.

    “Governments both at the central and the state levels have setup an employment/education quota system for under-privileged lower caste Hindus in government and in the public sector units, and in all public and private educational institutions, except in the minority-controlled educational institutions.[42] Admittedly, minorities such as the Christians and to some extent the Muslims have been largely excluded from this quota system; but then, so do the upper caste Hindus who are numerically more than both Christians and Muslims put together.[43] Still, the missionaries’ vastly disproportional control of educational institutions appears to give them the ability to selectively influence empowerment of communities on the basis of religion — and at the expense of the taxpayers. The following examples elucidate this point.”

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  6. This is a response to the “confused”:

    I never said or intended to say that all missionary-run institutions discriminated egregiously.

    From my studies, it has become clear that at the college level (compared to the school level), the discriminations are egregious and notable. Just to put this in perspective: about twenty years ago, even St. Stephen’s didn’t discriminate to the level it is doing now.

    The potential to discriminate even at the school level is there, sanctioned by Article 30 – and this could come to play in the coming years, just like in the case of missionary-run colleges and as Christian population percentage increases.

    That is why I called for doing away with Article 30, and enact a new anti-discrimination legislation.

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  7. Not sure of the exact percentage of SC Hindus, but it’s very much above 50%.

    SC Hindus are above 50% ??? This is the problem with just throwing BS numbers around. The writer of the comment is extrapolating caste dynamic of the region he/she is familiar with to INDIA. The FACT is that each region of India has a different caste dynamic, sometimes a group considered OBC in one state is not considered OBC in another. There are regions of India where the above statement of the commenter is/may be accurate but it is wildly inaccurate for other regions.

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  8. Atanu

    Thanks for the article and subsequent clarifications from Mr. Muthuswamy himself.

    I studied in a Christian school in Hyderabad. Now that I think about it more the the students, there was a clear bent for employing Christian teachers.

    Interestingly 20 years back the majority of the good educational institutions where Christian in Hyderabad. Over the past 2 decades more and more Hindu institutions have come up.

    One does tend to wonder how Christians do set up institutions in disproportion to their population. May be there is a need for Hindu’s to come forward and do the same.

    As an aside, the best private schools in Adelaide, Australia are run by Christians and mostly Catholics.

    The discussion around Article 30 is critical here. Its not about who is setting up the institution but about preferential education and employment using tax payer funds.

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  9. @Atanu and Moorthy

    Though as I always add here it was more important to have these things in the open than not be talked of at all. But overall this analysis and thinking is flawed at the most basic level.

    Remember even Gujarathis/Marathis/put random hindu community here can get together and start a university and they do many times. Just because Stephens is the best is not the fault of the Christians. Take it as a free market for different religions/communities to better organize themselves and be more sure of educating their breed. If the Christians are better at it than the Gujjus or the Gujjars that is not exactly their fault.

    The bottomline is what is good for the long term strength of India and Indians here. If people converting to Christianity and Islam for example makes us a stronger nation which can possible be more economically developed, destroy our enemies whenever necesaary etc etc then so be it. Yes Islam has quite clearly failed to show that it will work in any country. Hinduism in a way has semi failed. Christianity has proved itself all over. So you cannot just discount that. Remember the bottomline question is what is the best thing for the survival of our genes in the long run as India. And if the answer is a different mix of religions/cultures evolving. So be it.

    Overall I acknowedge your work in this area but you must start looking at things in this light.

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  10. “Christianity has proved itself all over.”
    ___

    The only Christian nation I can think of, that still exists, is the Vatican. What has Vatican proved over the century, or for that matter, even in the past few decades?

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  11. @Kaffir

    If that is the only statement that causes some alarm for you Let me clarify also adding that Im not a Christian implying my Christian bias is zero.

    I didnt mean “Christian nation” I meant a nation where seemingly the majority seem to be following some kind of combination of majority – Christianity, atheism, secular and others. Since there is enough evidence that proves that such a combination is doing “relatively” better than the others, If India were to be heading to such a direction simultaneously improving actual living conditions and also changing direction from heading towards a gutless/ballless gandhian type loser country, then I wouldnt mind that at all.

    Bottomline is that if the end result is a much stronger and happier country I do not mind any change in religious/culture demographics which in any case is a very slow process. There is clear evidence against Islam in this case but not enough against both Christianity and Hinduism.

    By definition each religious meme has to fight for its survival in the open market and if the strongest structure survives there is nothing wrong. We need to make sure the system is fair to all religions to compete which is the argument I agree with but I think its there to a reasonable extent except in the case of Islam where an entire civil law given only to them makes it extremely biased towards it. Theoretically there is no reason for a man not to convert to Islam. You get to have 4 wives, beat them up and get away and then all the extra benefits as a bonus and also possible reservation in the future. Were it not for the “terrorism taint” the market is unfairly twisted in favour of Islam and in the long run people would be biased towards converting to Islam in India. In any case due to the breeding factory effects the growth of Islam is the highest.

    This is the real worry and not the growth of Christianity.

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  12. Christianity is interesting because the majority are ‘S.C’ and complain of vicious discrimination by dominant High Castes. In the case of Stephens and so on the argument was made that raising the Xtian quota would give justice to be S.C element though in fact the reverse happened.

    Violence between Xtian sects can also become a problem- I was reading an article about Harar (Etiopia) where the majority Muslims look on in bemusement at the fights between the Pentecostals (very aggressive) and the Catholics. Uganda’s long tragedy really began when the majority Buganda got split between Catholics and Protestants. In parts of U.K, there was a long tradition of Sectarian Schools institutionalising sectarian divides and endless fighting.

    One aspect of Islamic terrorism is that a driver is fighting between Muslim schools. Just now if you google Godhra violence you will find an article about some mindless violence in Godhra Camp Karachi (people from Godhra Gujerat who emigrated there) between relatives who follow different preachers.

    Govt of India refused minority status to Swami Narayan and Ramakrishna Mission Schools- fair enough, I don’t want to divide Hinduism (what? anything can happen under this Congress Raj!)- but it is a very short=sighted policy w.r.t to minority education that this is allowed, let alone subsidized by the tax-payer.
    Congratulations to Dr.Muthuswamy for his book which I will try to get.

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  13. The article just confirms what many people knew along. Congress secularism always meant “pro-Muslim , pro-Christian”. These are never going to bridge the divide. These are only creating a feeling of victimisation amidst Hindus now. To me the solution looks simple : Insulate educational institutions from any kind of casteist, religious biases. The only preference an educational institution should give is to people from economically lower strata. This is yet another law that is an A…

    This also explains why educational institutions in India are so biased and push their own propaganda. The point of education being to make people think but whereas with all the religious, casteist intrusions, it is only brainwashing people better.

    @ Desiguru, Could you give your evidence of Christianity having proved itself ? What do you mean by a stronger nation ?

    And, it shows your knowledge of Gandhian philosophies that you think the country is heading along the Gandhian ways. The country is hardly following any of Gandhian philosophies. It is no use blaming someone after not following him.

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  14. @Yogesh

    Maybe I was too verbose.

    There is enough statistical evidence in the world that a country with substantial number of Christianity followers has relatively better technology, freedom, wealth (not only from natural resources), thinkers, quality of life and overall Power. So If India turns into something similar with substantially higher number of Christians I dont care a rat’s arse. At worst Christianity might have a neutral effect on true progress. What matters is the relative power position of India in the real world and the quality of life of its remaining citizens. As I said higher percentage of Islam has proven to be a certifiable disaster. Higher christianity being a disaster cannot be proven that easily.

    That you expect human beings to follow “Gandhian principles” is the same reason why we have no hope as a country. Expect human beings to behave like human beings and design your country as such and we will be fine. It is the thinking which began in the 1950s, that somehow magically all people will go as mad as Gandhi. where our downfall actually began.

    Human beings will fuck. Stronger human beings will kill/eliminate weaker human beings. Nature will encourage the above. You cant really change these simple facts about our Universe. Who gives a fuck about what Gandhi thinks about “His Universe”

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  15. Given that Christians inherently are opposed to Hindu culture, a rise in this religion I think would be disaster for India as far as the preservation of Indian culture is concerned. Japan, China and other intellectually productive Asian countries are not Christian majority…The fact that they are intellectually productive in any way owes to the fact of preservation of sense identity as culture and nation. The root of India’s problem lies in the fact that the modern Indian State has very flimsy foundations, the more one analyzes who laid its foundations, the more one realizes how flimsy it is. It is not a nation sure of its identity, and the fake secularism makes it that India stays that way. The Chinese, on the other hand, are sure of who they are and what they stand for, even if they are communist. Has one noticed India always is concerned with image in the world? Who cares about what others say when a nation understands what it needs to do to pull itself forward? Why does India which is poor have to always set an example based on vague imported ideals, and seek the approval of other nations who do not care a farthing about what happens to India? Why can it not act according what it think is best for national interest, not what others prescribe for it? When will India attain to real independence in this respect?
    Sometimes I wonder what did India get out of independence if it was to end up like this merely increasing its poor people, and a laggard in every respect? I was reading of how Funny Shankar Aiyar even took out a plague in the Andaman Islands that were in memory of the days Savarkar spent in jail. This is how India treats is great men. Have most of his predictions not come true? What happened to the visions of the true leaders who understood reality, and understood that a nation has to be sure of its identity if it is to progress or produce any greatness? Look at Muslims in Kashmir, they have enough of an identity to stir trouble and function as a bloc, Hindus (including Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists) do not, and as they know nothing of their culture or history, they are getting even more deracinated, such people can only follow stronger nations, not decide their own destinies, this is what India has done since independence, it has allowed imported, hollow ideals guide it. It produces no idealism and heroism, just stripmalls and thinks it is progressing…And the recent scams and a dysfunctional state are only signs of a deeper disorder…

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  16. @Culture Preservation.

    Thats the bottomline. This concept is relatively bullshit.

    Because its not about culture preservation, its really about gene preservation. Im repeating but if our bottomline remains simple which is to improve our relative power position as a country and continously increase the quality of our lifestyle both relatively as well as intrinsically. The rest is irrelevant gas. Hindu culture meant many things 1000s of years ago. Today there are fish eating mutton eating brahmins as well as non brahmins living happily and contributing greatly to society. Culture is the end result of continous change and not something to be preserved for the sake of preservation.

    What needs to be pursued is continous improvement of our relative standing. That is the only test. If increased Christianity threatens this simple pursuit then its dangerous, otherwise its irrelevant.

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  17. DesiGuru said:

    “I didnt mean “Christian nation” I meant a nation where seemingly the majority seem to be following some kind of combination of majority – Christianity, atheism, secular and others. Since there is enough evidence that proves that such a combination is doing “relatively” better than the others,”

    Some evidence to back your claim?

    A lot of Christian nations are doing quite badly in Asia like Philippines. Unfortunately fillipinos are twice colonized. Countries that are doing ok like Thailand, Vietnam, Japan and China retain their native ethos.

    The less said about Christian nations in Africa and South America the better. Lets not forget Rawanda is a Christian nation. That seems to have made the problem(over population) much worse, and did not stop the genocide. Most of the South American nations are Christian and desperately poor. So, there is no reason for Hindus to follow a failed prescription.

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  18. Today there are fish eating mutton eating brahmins as well as non brahmins living happily and contributing greatly to society. Culture is the end result of continous change and not something to be preserved for the sake of preservation.

    The only reason I bothered to reply to such reasoning is that I did not wish your assertion that becoming Christian does not change our culture to go unanswered.
    Well there is no arguing with those for whom culture consists in not “eating mutton”. It is not worth responding to you. I am obviously speaking of civilizational ethos, something you do not seem to comprehend. That civilizational ethos is inherently different from a Christian outlook capisce?
    Christianity does threaten it when it becomes too widespread in a pagan, non-proselytizing culture. In the NorthEast, where you see tensions caused by agressive Christianity…

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  19. above “aggressive”
    Only a fool does not understand what is happening in places like the North East…People who do not understand what their own culture stands for do not deserve it…

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  20. @Malavika

    Yes there are failures and successes with Christianity being the dominant religion. But remember nearly all successful societies ‘as considered by all of us’are dominantly Christian. No China/Saudi Arabia/Iran are not successful societies yet. Though there is a case for China as a winner relatively. While for Hindu there are two examples and both of them have shown pretty disastrous results historically speaking though one of them ‘India’ seems to be just now getting up from deepshit.

    See what Im trying to say is let’s say all religions have a free hand in developing their case and the strongest wins… Its a win win for all. It is really not at all about religion. Its about the long term survival of the fittest applied to religion. The problem identified by this article is fair that maybe there is no level playing field right now.

    @larissa

    I dont get your point about civilizational ethos maybe. What was England before Jesus Christ came along. Are you saying their ‘civilizational ethos’ changed after Christianity increased ?
    The only good civilization is one that has the gene and meme quality that can survive all adversaries known and unknown in the future. A society that absorbs the best from the outside and makes it its own in itself has a winning civilizational ethos.

    See for you the bottomline is this… Maybe what you call civilizational ethos will prevent the majority of India from converting the Christianity. Which in turn means Hinduism won over Christianity in a free market in the context of India because that is what will make us a stronger country in the long run. If Hinduism is the winner so be it. If Christianity is the winner so be it. If Atheism or Agnostism will be the winner and so be it. We shouldnt focus overt attention on that but on the main target that is to be a relative winner on this planet as a society and country.

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  21. Are you saying their ‘civilizational ethos’ changed after Christianity increased ?

    Why are Westerners living in a post-Christian age and why is the political right in Western Europe desperately trying to find out what constitutes “tradition” for Westerners? Do you want India to lose the tradition it has and be confused in this manner? Do the Chinese think it is all the same whether they are Christian or not? No! Do the Japanese think that? No! Only deracinated Indians like you think that, and the cause of India’s problems arise when such people are in control of the country…I think you really need to study Western civilization in a proper manner before making such facile statements. Would it have been fine if Islam won out in India? It would have won if our ancestors had the same laissez faire attitude towards religion that you have. We are HIndus because our ancestors fought to keep us that way, not because “market” forces made Hinduism triumph. Ignorance on a scale such as yours is not even worth responding to.

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  22. HaHa 😀

    There is lot of definitely ignorance here. You might be less ignorant of history than simple economics and sociology though 😀 And just as I expected your civilizational ethos argument is actually just bull shit. I have lived enough in the west to understand that its indians that are more confused about their traditions than those in the west. Especially the Americans are far more comfortable than some of their european friends. That it has something to do with the overall power and success of the country is something to ponder about.

    And Let me take the Islam part out of the way first. I have already pointed out earlier that it is the biggest and the real danger. Islam is a proven failure but if a true free market (especially educating the rest about hyper breeding by muslims) is kept it will always fail. But the current laws in India means there is no free market but an Islam supportive market and this will make it much easier for it to grow which is the worry.

    Our ancestors fought to keep us Hindu ? This is not 100% accurate according to me especially when they were always controlled by foreign powers most of the time. But that is the point I am making. If Hinduism wins great. But what is Hinduism. It is a relgion by definition only because there was such a concept invented by the others. The main ‘Dharma’ in Hinduism is about the pursuit of excellence and continuous adoption of what is the best for long term survival. If that means that some part of our population converts itself to what is called Christianity then it is nothing to panic about. To not allow both Hinduism and Christianity to be equals in competing for people would be actually Adharma according to some definitions of Hinduism.

    I think its the scale of thinking that is causing this argument to be misunderstood. In the very long term (100s and 1000s of years) the only good civilization is that which is very clear about its basics and does not get confused by marginally important concepts such as religion, tradition, ethos. The ethos of a nation 1000 years from now is not something you can attempt to preserve. What you can attempt to preserve is the fundamental pursuit of excellence, fairness and both absolute and relative superiority over your competition as a nation. The rest are just trivial details when you are talking about the scale I am talking about.

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  23. @ethos error

    Just to add that the last part should not have ethos there. I meant culture etc.

    If by Ethos we mean the basic ideals and concepts that guide us then the fundamental pursuit of excellence, fairness, continuous improvement and being a better nation should be the goal with no reference to which religion should be dominant etc.

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  24. DesiGuru,

    If you don’t want your comments to be stuck in moderation, please enter an email address — it does not have to be a valid address — it can be any old address but if you consistently enter that address, your posts will go through without moderation.

    I will remove this comment in a day or so.

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  25. “The main ‘Dharma’ in Hinduism is about the pursuit of excellence and continuous adoption of what is the best for long term survival. If that means that some part of our population converts itself to what is called Christianity then it is nothing to panic about. “
    __

    But does it? You used an “if” there – a huge if, which you haven’t shown to be valid, and seems to me that you’re just pissing in the wind. Be careful, otherwise you’ll be covered in your own piss.

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  26. I just realised that other than scale its the basic misunderstanding about what a free market really means. Maybe we should define what a free market means. A free market means there is perfect information flow, people have full freedom without interference to choose what they think is right for them. Someone sitting somewhere in Delhi has no right to interfere in the choices of the average man.

    By its very definition this concept believes its in these choices made by every individual that lies the best way to long term success. This is the best way for the weak to be eliminated and the strong to become stronger leading to a stronger society.

    According to this article the non free market is twisted towards non Hindu religions a bit and which is actually a pretty fair argument. But I disagreed because I think language based (mostly hindu) communities also get to start a minority institution. And there are many such incentives. There is SC/ST/OBC reservation which is a very strong incentive to stay a Hindu in India. So overall other than the favouritism towards Islam due to a separate civil code things are more or less in free market zone. In a fully free world if Christianity won over Hinduism here, which I think is not possible, its not something which is a serious problem in the extreme long run because it was based on individual choice of what is good for him/her.

    Anyways I think its difficult for most people to think beyond their own religions and most minds are heavily biased in any thinking they do in this regard. Hence its over and out here.

    May the best religion/no religion win.

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  27. DesiGuru said:

    “Yes there are failures and successes with Christianity being the dominant religion. But remember nearly all successful societies ‘as considered by all of us’are dominantly Christian. No China/Saudi Arabia/Iran are not successful societies yet. Though there is a case for China as a winner relatively. While for Hindu there are two examples and both of them have shown pretty disastrous results historically speaking though one of them ‘India’ seems to be just now getting up from deepshit.”

    You are deeply ignorant. ‘Christianity’ failed Europe. Only after Christianity’s wings have been clipped Europe came out of Dark ages. And Christianity is failing Asia, South America, Africa. So, in spite of your obfuscation there is no evidence of ‘dominantly Christian ‘ nations being success full.

    You have weird logic, Rawanda is not an example of Christian failure but Europe is ???. Even though most Europeans ignore basic scriptural injunctions of Christianity and Rawandans don’t. EU folks practice birth control, indulge in pre marital sex and don’t attend Church. Rawandans don’t practice birth control and attend Church.

    Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, China are all doing fine. So, will India if it retains its Indic Civilizational ethos.

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  28. @Malavika

    Im a Hindu and have begun to enjoy what is good in it.
    But Does Hinduism have any of its original wings left by the way 😀

    Year 1200 and the core philosophy of Hinduism was the caste system. Year 2000 and they have now reservation for the lowest castes 😀

    Sati anyone ? etc etc etc.

    That both Christian and Hindu societies accepted change is what is good about them unlike you know which religion. That is why Christianity and Hinduism in whatever forms still exist as part of reasonable countries and are seemingly part of very strong countries be it so may be in whatever diluted form. Countries in Africa fail more because of genetic and other reasons than just religion. Anyways your arguments tell me you are simply not reading what I am trying to say. I want a level playing field and let the average human being decide which religion he wants to follow. Not some Hindu Malavika who wants us to remain Hindu for another 1000 years because she is Hindu and thinks that is the best for us.

    I want Hinduism to win does not mean that I want an unfair advantage to it. Im not 100% sure whether its a higher percentage of Hinduism which is good for us or continuous improvement in our core beliefs or more people becoming Christian or atheist or becoming apostates of you know which religion.

    Anyways im gonna continue trying to stay out of this thread now 😀

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  29. DesiGuru said:

    “Countries in Africa fail more because of genetic and other reasons than just religion.”

    Evidence? You saying so does not make it so. You make the red necks blush.

    To bolster your case you have to show evidence of
    (i) Christian fundamentalist countries doing well. Like say Europe during the ‘age of faith’ as Will Durant would call it.
    (ii) evidence of ‘genetic inferiority’ of Africans and Asians.

    Also, the fact that you are talking of Hindu apostates shows your ignorance of Hinduism. There is no such thing as blind belief in Indic traditions unlike Islam/Christianity. Hence no blasphemy at all unlike ISalm and Christianity. Free thought was always encouraged in Hinduism.

    b.t.w.

    here are some statistics about India

    Share of World GDP

    year 1700 1820 1890 1952

    China 23.1 32.4 13.2 5.2
    India 22.6 15.7 11.0 3.8
    Europe 23.3 26.6 40.3 29.7

    From Mike Davis book late Victorian Holocausts.

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  30. @Malavika

    I now pity you. You got the very simple ‘you know what religion’ wrong. Maybe you read too many books and dont think enough. Its one of the most common error made by heavy readers.

    Dont start me up on the genetic inferiority thingie. That was just mentioned in passing and it is not something that can be discussed openly.
    You can use a simple logic. Start with what is your definition of inferiority ? Currently hold more power ?(not counting natural resource power) more money ? more intelligence ? et al Go from there and you will get your answers. Quantify these qualities for all 7 billion humans on earth and you will get your answer. Genes do matter in success and though this has been scientifically proven its not something people like to discuss in public. One poor Harvard President got fired a while ago for just quoting this research 😀 Genes are not the only thing but they matter big time.

    I mean this is a comment on a thread. We do not need to do a PhD thesis providing evidence. If you do not think Im right thats fine with me. I mean where the hell has anyone mentioned christian fundamentalist nation is what India should be 😀

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  31. @DesiGuru: Changing the religion of an entire nation to make it stronger! One of the most disturbing things I’ve read all week. Also, wouldn’t this amount to ‘genocide’.

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  32. I feel there is nothing wrong with minority colleges deciding who should be admitted to their college, they have that right (unless we bring a law that prohibits admission based on religion, race etc).

    However I find it surprising that minority institutions are funded by tax payer’s money. Be it Christian colleges or Muslim Haj pilgrimages.
    I would rather wish for funding in education based on the financial situation of the person and not religion or caste.

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  33. Perhaps someone should use that treasure found in the temple to set up a few colleges. Look at the other states – Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have all created fairly decent educational institutions in such large numbers, that anyone who was whining about being starved for admission in a good institute will still manage to get into some other college (the number of seats is inordinately large).

    Starting a college is not a big deal. Getting Land, teachers, accreditation and getting permissions is also fairly easy given the fact that the Associations are national (AICTE, MCI, ILS etc).

    Nurturing educational institutions and values goes beyond mere divisions in society – it is like others a tradition that has to be inculcated. If the state starts witch hunting against Hindu institutions – only then one should complain and take it to the courts. A large number of private institutions will dry up the need for students to go to any old prestigious college.

    With the advent of the internet and free flow of knowledge anyone can sit home and take lectures from reputed universities like MIT, Stanford – all that is really needed for improving higher education in India is a strong will to maintain the importance of education and enough access to quality coursework, unbiased and uncompromisable exam system and access to books, libraries and internet.

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